Glass of Bubbly Interview: The Head of Wine for Hand Picked Hotels – Louise Gordon
8th December 2023
The World of Wine is beautifully showcased every day by passionate people, who help the consumer discover their next favourite bottle, understand the different regions and pair a delicious meal with the right Glass of Bubbly.
In this feature, I speak with a woman from England, who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, her name is Louise Gordon, let’s find out about her life as a Sommelier.
Tell Us About Yourself
“I am the Head of Wine for Hand Picked Hotels which is a new position for the company. I have over 20 years experience in the wine industry and have worked in Harvey Nichols, Clos Maggiore and the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London, Lime Wood Hotel, Heckfield Place and The Newt in Somerset coming back to my southern roots.”
Do You Remember Your First Experience With Sparkling Wine? When It Was And What Kind Of Wine It Was?
“Alas, it was Asti Spumante from the corner shop in the village where I grew up in Dorset. Like most 90’s teenagers in England that was simply the most accessible! However, if we can ignore that then it was a Champagne Lanson tasting when I was in my first wine role in France – Calais, no less!”
What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?
“When I started in the wine industry sommeliers seemed so knowledgeable and it looked to be a very exciting job. I had trouble getting a sommelier position without experience so I took a job in the wine shop at Harvey Nichols and soon got chatting to the Head Sommelier in the 5th floor restaurant. He was a font of knowledge and offered me my first sommelier position.”
During Your Time As A Sommelier, What’s The Most Surprising & Interesting Thing You’ve Learnt?
“In terms of knowledge, the most interesting thing is how the vineyards of France and Europe have coped with two world wars and adapted in an incredibly unpredictable and challenging century. Also, I am endlessly interested in the passion and drive of those coming into the industry at a young age or part way through their career when so much is new and evolving – it’s an incredibly different space to the one I grew up in.”
What Sparkling Wine Producing Countries or Regions Hold A Special Place In Your Heart?
“It has to be Champagne. I have been several times and the region is fascinating, has great food and some spectacular cellars and wines. A Blanc de Blancs is always the way to my heart.”
What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?
“Keep learning and developing. Taste as many wines as you can as often as you can to keep evolving your palate and keep tasting the classics to reinforce your skills. Also ask questions, the only silly question is the one you don’t ask!”
Where’s The Most Memorable Place You’ve Enjoyed A Glass of Bubbly?
“At Château de Saran, the invite-only estate owned by Moët & Chandon. I was lucky enough to be invited, many, many years ago on a chef and Sommelier trip and to experience Richard Geoffroy pulling out some incredible bottles from the cellars. One particularly memorable moment was comparing the 1962 original disgorgement to the 1962 Oenotheque release after one of the chefs asked if disgorgement really makes a difference to the resulting wine.”
Thank you, Louise, for sharing your words, knowledge and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!
Images belong to Hand Picked Hotels. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission, to use them.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.